Sea Fishing Loch Fyne at Cairndow, Argyll, Scotland
Cairndow is a Small Village Near the Head of Loch Fyne, Scotland
Loch Fyne is the longest of Scotland's sea lochs, stretching about forty miles inland from the Firth of Clyde. This means that there is a lot of shoreline from which it is possible for anglers to go beach casting and a lot of water for the modern day trawlers to pillage. Sadly, the latter activity has decimated the fish stocks in Loch Fyne and these once rich waters are not even a shadow of what they once were in terms of fish stocks and marine life. This is not to say that a good day's fishing is not still possible on Loch Fyne - unfortunately, the occasion that pre-empted this site was not one of them...
Cairndow is a small village almost at the head of the loch. It is less than a mile from where you will find the famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, a venture which now knows outlets throughout the United Kingdom. This particular part of Loch Fyne was suggested to us as offering mackerel in abundance, as well as sport from dogfish and thornback rays.
How to Get to Cairndow, Argyll
The cut off for Cairndow from the main A83 Campbeltown road represents a very sharp turn and one which you will only see a few seconds before you reach it. When you have crossed the Rest and Be Thankful and a few miles on you are heading downhill with Loch Fyne appearing in the distance, know that the cut off to the left is immediately at the bottom of the hill as you return to sea level.
The Cairndow War Memorial is located almost right on the A83 and as soon as you leave the main road you will see a small lay-by with parking for a couple of cars only. If possible, park in this lay-by but you may of course have to go a few hundred yards further on and park in the village proper. The shore of the loch from this spot is reached by climbing down the embankment. This is only a few yards (the car is parked by the telephone pole in the photo to the right) but the angle of descent is steep, the ground is very unstable and great care is required. Any angler with mobility problems of any type will not be able to access the shore from this point and will need to do so from the village.
Cairndow is Ideally a Low Tide Fishing Venue
The shallow water at higher stages of the tide at Cairndow and the weed which covers the shoreline are both good reasons to fish Cairndow at lower stages of the tide. Deeper water can be reached fairly easily a couple of hours either side of low tide, even when you are not a particularly accomplished caster. Spinning is also possible at low tide when it would not be at all practical at high water.
Low water on the day of this visit (Monday, 22nd August, 2011) was approximately 12.30pm. We arrived at the venue just after 10am and fished until 4pm. The advice we had been given was that mackerel were most likely to be caught in the hour before low tide with dogfish likely at the low water mark and just beyond. The bait we had on this occasion consisted of mackerel, calamari and blueys.
Tackle and Rigs
Beachcaster rods are of course essential at a venue like Cairndow, other than at low tide when spinning may well catch mackerel and in so doing offer good sport on the much lighter tackle. Three of us fishing Cairndow on this occasion had between us four beachcasters and a spinning rod.
The five or six hours saw a great deal of experimentation with end tackle. Premade lures such as Hokais, plain Aberdeen hooks on wishbone rigs, bait clips and more were tried in a series of attempts to find the fish. Unfortunately, the sum total for the day was one decent mackerel, one undersized mackerel and a dogfish. The mackerel were taken on hokai style lures (on a beachcaster - spinning proved fruitless) and the dogfish on a plain Aberdeen hook baited with a small cocktail of mackerel and calamari squid.
The Scenery at Cairndow is Always Beautiful, Even if the Fishing is PoorClick thumbnail to view full-size
Have you ever Fished Loch Fyne at Cairndow?
Hopefully, this page will have proven of some use to you with regard to fishing this part of Loch Fyne. If you are familiar with the area and have fished it perhaps with better results, why not share your experiences below with other interested readers?
Regardless, thank you for your visit to this page and good luck with your fishing.